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Riparian Restoration

Protecting and restoring your streambank and shoreline property

The following fact sheets are designed to help owners of streambank or shoreline property create landscaping plans that not only enhance their property but also protect water resources. Trees and other vegetation help reduce erosion by holding soil in place, protect water quality by filtering sediments and pollutants, provide wildlife habitat and cover for fish, and create scenic beauty along the water’s edge.

Each fact sheet is also available as a PDF brochure (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Using Native Vegetation
Introduces the fact sheet series and previews ways of using native plants to protect streambanks and shorelines.
View fact sheet in PDF version (487 kb).

Benefits of Riparian Zones
Offers details about riparian zones and their benefits to property owners and the environment. Discusses exotic and invasive species and problems associated with establishing lawns to the water’s edge.
View fact sheet in PDF version (597 kb).

Assessing Your Property
Describes how to develop a base map for documenting your existing site conditions.
View fact sheet in PDF version (591 kb).

image of bank Designing Your Landscape
Uses the base map you developed while assessing your property to determine your objectives and develop a riparian restoration plan.
View fact sheet in PDF version (553 kb).

Native Plant Selector
A new online resource that provides a wealth of information about plants native to the Tennessee Valley. You can select plants according to your site requirements, wildlife benefits, and other criteria. Includes color photos.
View PDF list of native plants (516 kb)

Landscaping Alternatives
Shows three restoration options for one site to illustrate flexibility in meeting property owner objectives.
View fact sheet in PDF version (741 kb).

Understanding Erosion
Gives a nontechnical introduction to causes and effects of erosion along streams, rivers, and reservoirs.
View fact sheet in PDF version (464 kb).

Using Stabilization Techniques
Includes a nontechnical overview of options available to stabilize an existing erosion problem.
View fact sheet in PDF version (1.1 mb).

Preparing the Site
Describes three possible existing site conditions and options on how to create a riparian zone.
View fact sheet in PDF version (589 kb).

Planting and Maintaining Your Native Landscape
Describes planting methods for different types of plants and maintenance that will be needed to ensure plant survival.
View fact sheet in PDF version (566 kb).

Helpful Web Sites
Gives links to additional sources of information.

Gives links to the regional watershed offices.

For general information about shoreline property and public land, send an e-mail message to

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